When I was home from college one weekend, I walked into the kitchen and lifted the cover off the pan to see what my Mom was cooking us for dinner. Squash, onions, brown rice, tofu… the usual. I picked up the wooden spoon and began to mix the stir-fry. “Stop,” my mother told me as she gently placed her hand over my wrist, “you don’t want to make the vegetables dizzy.”
My Mom had lots of new-agey philosophies and was always reading a book or participating in certain spiritual food fads, some which were downright obsessive or unhealthy like the *master cleanser (lemonade diet that we’ve all come to hate), or *Fletcherism (which means chewing your food 100 times before you swallow it- even your water), or a *liver detox (where you swallow nothing but apple juice and laxatives for a few days) and some that more mainstream and had deeper philosophies like Veganism and eating a seasonal Macrobiotic Diet. Many of them were just oblique ways of masking disordered eating into a spiritual path- but there were a few things within the many different things that she tried over the years that were valid and made sense.
That moment with Mom pops into my head a lot, where she lovingly put her hand on my wrist and warned me against making the vegetables dizzy. I remember smiling at her in an amused but adoring way. She wanted to keep the energy of the food balanced and stable so that when she fed it to me, the food would help me to remain balanced and stable. Her philosophy at this point in her life had a lot to do with the energy that you put into food and how that energy reflected back on you. She was ill and wanted to regain health and she felt that this was a path toward that.
She had integrated this Eastern Philosophy of being aware of the Qi (life force) in everything- including her food. She believed that what you put into the world around you, that you would get out of it. So she chose love and kindness toward her food and hoped and believed that it would return to her and to me.
I’ve often felt in the years since I’ve lost my Mom that this might have been a healthy path that she came to too late. I don’t necessarily think that it would have saved her life, but I wonder if it would have saved her lots of fruitless years on senseless diets and food and weight loss fads.
I want to put out an experiment to you. What if you took a day and showed loving kindness to everything you ate? If you can’t do a whole day, what about one meal? You don’t have to eat just brown rice and kale or green smoothies (making smoothies makes the vegetables dizzy anyway… 🙂 But what if you were to take even a piece of pizza or a cookie and look at it before you ate it and said something like, “You are loved! Thank you for providing me with your nutrients, your yummy taste and the enjoyment I will get from eating you…” what do you think that would do? Do you think it would help you slow down? Do you think that it would alleviate some of the guilt that you might sometimes feel around eating certain foods? Do you think that it would help you to be more mindful about the food that you were eating and the intention that you had around food? Try it, let me know how it goes.
*Links are provided for reference, but please don’t try these methods